holiday overbooking

21 December 2010 at 11:46 am 4 comments

Ahhhh… Christmastime! A time of joy and laughter and beautifully clothed carolers singing about wasail and presents!

Growing up, I fell in love with the idea of Christmas — a time of year when everything took on a new sheen – a bright new personality, a time of year when people thought of others and a general kindness filled the air.

I always thought that the older I got the more my life would resemble this holiday dream, but I find that each year becomes more and more filled with obligations, duties and projects!


And rather than be entranced by the beautiful lights, the delicious fudge, and the sound of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, I am filled with an innate dread as the date of Christmas comes inexorably closer, because it has become a deadline — a deadline for all those presents and projects to be finished.

And I suppose it shouldn’t bother me so much, but I feel the weight of expectation hang heavily. It speaks in a deep, dark whisper…

“If you don’t get Aunt Such-And-Such or Co-worker Andynonymous that special card or gift, then they will think you don’t care… they will think that you despise them…”

And part of the problem is my own expectations. I can’t simply do as many others do and sign a card — I must put a unique and special message inside! What is the use of a card if it doesn’t actually say anything? I can’t just buy a cocoa mug gift set from KMart — I must find something that signifies I know something about that person’s likes and dislikes. It doesn’t have to be “the perfect gift”, but it better be pretty close!

So, inevitably I get so busy, I run out of time, and end up giving gifts and cards to only half the people I wanted to… would people prefer any card (even a non-personalized one) to none at all? Would you?


Entry filed under: word of the week.

my reflection the other megan

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebekah  |  21 December 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I work with a number of Actual Grown-Ups (not newbie grown-ups like me), and I think every one of them dreads Christmas. Family power struggles, endless shopping, baking, decorating, financial peril, increased social obligations… all potentially fun, but none of it essential or sacred. At my workplace, women carry most of the Christmas burdens.

    I keep my expectations nice ‘n’ low; I rarely buy presents, I only travel when I can afford it, and I limit my domestic hoopla to baking the occasional cookie. Clearly, this approach won’t work for most people, but it does leave lots of time for reflection.

    I thought this would be a good year to send Christmas cards, but the cards I ordered off Etsy have yet to arrive, despite shelling out for Priority Shipping. I COULD be cranky about this, but why stress myself out? I’ll send out them out as New Year’s cards instead.

    I appreciate your love of beautiful things and your ability to make simple events special— but YOUR needs are as valid as anyone’s. If you had no one else to please, what would you want Christmas to be like?

  • 2. hazelnutmegan  |  27 December 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I think this year I would’ve preferred something similar to what you described on your blog — a nice bath, a nice bed and a nice read. (I wasn’t feeling too well.)

    And I will be sending out New Year’s Cards this week — expect yours soon! 🙂

  • 3. Rebekah  |  27 December 2010 at 4:59 pm

    My Christmas turned out to be insanely boring and lonely.

    There must be a middle ground between my Christmas and yours. =)

    Oh, and I DID end up giving a few presents this year— my family doesn’t do presents, but Ian’s does! It was only a few, so I didn’t have to agonize over it— I AM surprised how much ribbon it takes to wrap gifts. I’ll remember that for next year.

  • 4. hazelnutmegan  |  28 December 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry to hear that — I hope your New Year’s is much more fun!

    And I love wrapping gifts! But it does take a lot of ribbon!

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